I don't think I've blogged much about this, but after a lengthy hiatus between me and the budget, I've finally got our finances back on track. Not that we are in financial ruin or anything like that...but I just slacked off on keeping track of our spending and saving. Well, the saving part was pretty easy because we didn't...hence the reason for getting back on track. You have to be intentional with saving money or it just doesn't happen. End of story.
So I'm pleased to announce that our budget is DONE! At least for the next couple of months. Instead of doing a budget for the entire year, I am going to take our budget month by month. Mainly because it's nearly impossible to account for everything that comes up. For example, I just set up our Jan and Feb budgets, and then my kids come home from school with yearbook order forms that are $15 each...so that could potentially put us $30 over budget. We do a zero-based budget each month, which means we tell every dollar where it's going. After listing our bills for the month, I decide where our surplus (anything left over) will go...savings, entertainment, etc. By doing our budget monthl-by-month, it will helps us take into account those unexpected expenses. It also helps me to not feel overwhelmed or like we're getting behind with each unexpected expense.
Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, No Spend January. I just came across a blog post about this. (You can find it here: http://halfdozendaily.blog.com/no-spend-2012/. She actually calls it No Spend 2012, but I think the challenge is only for January, so to me, it's No Spend January. Anyhoo, I'm contemplating doing this challenge for a couple of reasons.
1. I've heard about people going on spending freezes and thought it would be interesting to try one.
2. Due to my lack of budgeting in 2011. it has made for a tight-spending month anyways thanks to a couple of larger bills that will need paid. (Our 6-month car insurance policy to name one)
3. This may be a great way to get creative with entertainment.
4. This would help to teach our kids that you control your money...it doesn't control you and I could even see this becoming sort of a family challenge where the kids help us in finding ways NOT to spend!
5. Since we won't be bringing anything into our house (besides groceries), it would be a great time to focus on decluttering and purging what is already here.
Alright, I'm gonna do it. There, I said it.
So at the end of this month, I will hopefully look like this:
Ok, not really. But I hope I will be smiling like she is (minus the braces...been there, done that!) at the amount of money still in my wallet (or trendy change purse) at the end of the month!
Anyone on board with me? I would love to have a shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough and I really want to buy something!
Happy Saving! :)